Friday, July 31, 2009

Little dancers from Mongolia

Children of the World in Harmony, the 16th annual festival is being held in Petoskey this week. The Kenyan kids got bumped from their flight and didn't make it. But the little troupers from Mongolia were adorable and we were all there with our cameras, as this picture indicates. I didn't get the pictures I hoped for, due to harsh light and poor planning and execution on my part. But I was left in awe of the people who put together this festival, which brings together nearly 400 children from all over the world. They sing and dance in a series of events (this one was a free concert held in a city park) which culminates in a concert of the massed choir. Participants stay in small groups with local families. I pondered what it might mean to each child. And experience like this could actually be life-changing. I'm glad they came here, and I am glad I finally found a parking place.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Those magical years

Originally uploaded by jhhymas
Something else I spotted the day we photographed in Petoskey. Then I played with it in Photoshop. It reminds me of a haiku by my teacher, Kiyoko Tokutomi. She wrote it about her grandchildren, her great treasure, but it applies to these children, too. I think. They have the grace of unselfconscious movement.

in summer clothing
children have such beautiful
arms and legs

Tomorrow I plan to go into town again to photograph the children's choirs (who have come from all over the world) singing in the park. Noon to 7. I'll take a folding chair and then people will walk in front of me just as I press the shutter. Good night.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Fireweed 248squ
Originally uploaded by jhhymas
The weedy riot along the dirt road that marks the south border of our lovely wild messy woodland always has many floral surprises. This is only the second year that I have seen the fireweed here. I is so beautiful and just keeps blooming up the stalk for a long time. So nice with the several kinds of yellow flowers there. The ever-reliable Joe Pye weed is coming along, too, and entering its long period of reliable dusty-pink blossoms.
I have been playing with the photo and was going to upload two handsome modifications, but the upload failed.
I have been thinking about choices, and how I shouldbe able to choose my best photographs. But I like so many of them, so my Flickr site continues to be a mishmash of family and "art" pictures. Oops, the washer is out of balance.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Catching the Wind

I guess I had just as well face that a blog about memory, won't follow any kindof sensible chronology.
When we planned to be here earlier, I signed up for a photography workshop with Monte Nagler, which took place on the very first whole day we were here, July 11th. I had some anxiety about stamina, but managed just fine. He is a really fine photographer; I am especially interested in his black and white landscapes. When we went down to the pier to see the Nina and the Pinta (honest! more about that later.) someone was parasailing with a red sail on the cold, cold waters of Little Traverse Bay. He did and lot of flips and gymnastics-type moves and we all cheered. He only ditched once while I was watching. It was really a spectacular treat! There is so much beauty to photograph around here it almost makes me dizzy!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

My dolly

Originally uploaded by jhhymas
This is my newest grandchild, treated with the Silver Efex "pinhole" filter. If they could make me a dolly just like this, I am sure it would turn up on Antique Roadshow in 100 years!
I find this almost surreally beautiful. My oldest grandson came back for a visit while we are here. Tonight we splurged on the battered and deep-fried mushrooms at the local eatery still decorated with his father's wooden wall-sculptures that were finished 20 years ago. Everything was delicious. . . Now I'm too full.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Lorinda's children; playing with photographs

The day of my sister's 70th birthday party, I took lots of pictures. This is cropped from one of them. Today, I was reading a new photography book, and the author, Ellen Anon, said ahe liked the Nik Silver Efex Pro software. I got a special offer on this months ago and bought it, but I had only tried it a few times. I have now been experimenting with all types of photos, candids, portaits, and landscapes. Glorious fun! This software isn't cheap, but it is worth every penny. I have used only the presets and have not even needed to try the sliders or change the settings.
This photo is one of my favorites. I took it on June 20th, and it looks slightly vintage, no? The sweet, sweet children. . .

King Orchards

Cherries are on in Michigan! As my daughter pulled her huge van into a parking space, I heard a merry trilling voice sing out, "Don't crunch/crash/crush our car!" I couldn't quite catch the one word, but the meaning was unmistakable. There was no crunch/crash, and while our cherries were being pitted, we fooled around together. This is my favorite picture of her; I wish I had managed to get all her fingers. The cherries are divine. We had them pitted for freezing, to use in the mirthless, fruit-deprived winter. The cherry pitter is a great old-fashioned machine--just a machine, not a computer--and there are pictures here.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Our dooryard garden

Our dooryard garden
Originally uploaded by jhhymas
Perennials have turned out to be good for us because we are not here all the time. This columbine is one of the "Origami Series" now that I have seen how floriferous they are, and how sturdy, I wouldn't geet any other kind. The daylilys are good, too--we buy them at a local place that has fields of them growing all the time--they pot some up every year, and when they they do, they are sturdy and full of vim. The cobble border is my husband's work. He's in the third year and now is almost all the way around the house. It really does look nice and makes the weeds easier to control. And since my daughter has for many years been taking cobbles out, first from her garden and then her hayfield. we have enough stone. . .

Monday, July 20, 2009

Back to July

This is what we did for the weekend of the Fourth. Riding behind a boat is big-time fun, but when you can do it in a setting of such natural beauty in such fabulous weather, with your grandmother in the boat to take your picture and your father driving, what could be any better?? At Anderson Lake Reservoir in Idaho.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

My family in 1947

I was probably reading and am not in the picture. I have made this faded color photo into black and white, and cropped out the edges, so the faces can be seen better. My parents and my youngest brother (with the cast on his arm) are gone now. I feel very, very lucky to have had the family I had. And to have lived in the times that I did. It is hard to explain, but so much was just about perfect. I was protected, but not too much; I was fed, but not too much. I had what I needed and then some, but not too much.
I think this photo was taken in my Aunt Mary Lillian's back yard in Taft, California. I was shocked by the size of her gentle Doberman--I had never been around one before.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

New brother Richard in my arms, Scotia, New York

Posted by Picasa

Naturally we are all adorable and it is 1943. But I have to say that one of my favorite parts of this picture is the FEET!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Richard and the Viewmaster

This is too wonderfully wacky! I am noticing with all these Brownie Reflex pictures that we are recently scanning (which should have been thrown away in the 1940s, and now are treasured historic artifacts of a vanished world) that the perpendiculars (doors, windows, house corners) so commonly found on the inside and outside of houses are most often askew. I wonder if this was just because these photographers ignored that, or that the viewfinder made it difficult to line up things accurately. In this photo, my brother is almost totally obscured, not only by the Viewmaster, but also by the box and the poor choice of framing. But another kid, cold be the photographer, even me . . .Very postmodern, no???

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

This image belongs with previous post

My mother in front of my childhood home

My sister-in-law, Jeannie, has been scanning some more of the remnants of my early family life. My parents purchased this home shortly after the birth of their fourth child, my brother, Richard, in 1943. I'll have more to say about this house later. All these photos have been making me think a lot about the relation between memory and physical objects, and photographic portraits of physical objects. Things are very important to me, and I have had to come to realize that this importance is probably misplaced and probably not true for many other people.
This camel-colored coat my mother often wore, and I remember it well. About this time, when my four brothers were born in five years, she stopped bothering as much about her hair and her clothes.
This pictures resonance for me tonight is in the cobblestone retaining wall, which my parents later removed and replaced with a rock garden. So far tonight, I have touched on three other memory threads that I would like to develop. But, sticking to this one. . .
This rock wall was topped with a flat cement slab ideal for playing on and the scene of many of my early memories of solitary play. Here is a poem I wrote about one of them.


Large ants, black and glossy, make Indian-file trails
across the corner of the wall by the entrance stairs.
I sit and watch them; then cut one not quite in half
with the sharp serrated edge of a milk bottle cap.
The ant keeps moving but stops getting anyw

Of course it can utter no little cries.
The marching line of ants shifts, moving around
the chosen ant. I lift it to a doll’s house ironing board
which has folding legs and a tiny fabric cover but no iron.

After watching the ants another long time, I chose
one at random and press on the bottle cap, but gently
so as not to sever the ant. Important meaning fills me;
I sit with the sun’s warmth on my shoulderblades,
on the roots of my pigtailed hair, watching, watching ants.

This is one of my earliest poems, and tries to capture what was a very powerful memory for me. Before my brother emails to tell me that "shoulderblades" is two words, I must mention that here the I prefer the rhythm of reading it as one. Of such tiny decisions is art made.

I hope to keep up my posting now. There are a lot of things I want to consider. Stick with me, small faithful band of readers!